Sunday, October 21, 2007

A couple of notes and reminders...

Check out the new poll to the upper right of the blog. It's going to run to the end of the month, so make sure you indicate your feelings regarding public comment during Commission meetings from now until then. I will withhold comment on my feelings until after the poll closes, and then will summarize the poll results in a new post. I am also preparing a critique of the Mayor's performance - six months into his administration - that will be posted shortly. NOT TO MISS!

We're also on for a new Truth Matters show this coming Tuesday, 10/23 at 8 to 9 p.m. Lots of stuff to go over and don't forget your comments and questions are welcome. I'll be posting an announcement on the new Lake Worth Talk discussion board as a reminder too.

An observation: I've bumped into a lot of people recently that are more concerned than ever about the direction the City is headed. From the amount of properties for sale, a perceived increase in crime, bureaucratic tales that test the bounds of horrific and seeming lack of direction from those vested with that task, a more negative view of our City is emerging in the minds of many (if this is even possible) and it has me gravely concerned. It's something that I am feeling as well, but do not want to admit. There are positive things that we can accomplish and, if not entirely turn the tide, we can slow its progress. Keep your mind open for ideas on how we can turn this ship around and make this a better place for everyone to live, work and visit.


Mary Lindsey said...

Wes, About this time last year, the audit for the 04/05 fiscal year was finally completed and released. That was the document that gave chills to everyone concerned about the state of the City and the finances.

The 05/06 audit just released is practically a cut and paste of the former audit. Both documents indicate a lack of financial control and hit or miss policies in accounting, inventory, spending etc. Both documents talk about high turnover in the departments, new leadership, new procedures etc etc. The latest audit findings is not surprising although it is distressing. It's all going to get a lot messier before it gets cleaned up.

The internal audit, completed, but in the hands of dept. heads for their comments - promises to be even more distressing but that can be a good thing. Until we know where we are, we'll never get where we want to be.

It remains to be seen how sanitized the final version is, or more likely, how much accountability is ascribed to former employees, who now enjoy their generous retirement/severance packages because we lacked the will to terminate people when we had lots of very good cause to do so.

Wes Blackman said...

Mary, yes, the lack of internal controls in finance and throughout the City's operations is definitely something to wake up in the middle of the night with a wet bed! I remember during my campaign I kept talking about the vision of money just flying out of the windows at City Hall. It turns out that wasn't and isn't too far from the truth. Sadly, all I see on the dais is shrugged shoulders and a hopeful "That was then, this is now attitude". But everyone should realize that it's not due to the elected people on the dais that this is being revealed. In many ways, it's in spite of the them.

That being said, I do believe there is a new sheriff in town, but how long this regime will last is truly open to question.

And let's not forget that these a real dollars - we should really find a way to quantify the money saved once all of the new controls are initiated. Personally, I am waiting for the day that we can go to the finance department and ask, "Could I see how much the lift station in Bryant Park cost?" and, within a reasonable period of time, be provided with an accounting of all amounts spent - hard and soft, to whom and for why, how much and when.

Then, we'd be getting somewhere